NewsStand, July 13, 2023

NewsStand, July 13, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|July 13, 2023

Iowa news

Growing, aging population prompts need for new medical facilities

Two things occurring in Greater Des Moines have sparked the development of new medical facilities: The area’s population is growing and it’s aging. In June, a local radiologist announced plans to develop a regional medical campus in Urbandale. A week later, Broadlawns Medical Center announced it will build a brain and memory center and another structure that will include primary care. Two medical clinics are under construction in Waukee – a multispecialty clinic by UnityPoint Health and a clinic and surgery center by Iowa Clinic. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrates the growth in the Des Moines area’s population and its aging residents. In 2010, 606,475 people lived in the Des Moines-West Des Moines statistical area; by 2020 the area’s population had grown to 709,466, or by more than 16%. (Business Record)

UI cardiologists perform first-in-state procedure to save Iowa grandma’s heart

Using 3D models and virtual reality technology, pediatric cardiologists at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital completed a successful first-in-state, innovative heart procedure, helping a 67-year-old grandmother avoid open-heart surgery. Maria Andrade of Kalona0 was diagnosed with sinus venosus atrial septal defect when she was evaluated by a pediatric cardiologist in September 2022. This rare defect of the heart causes increased blood to the right side of the heart over time and floods the lungs. Though the condition is a congenital heart defect – it was present at birth – Maria wasn’t fully affected by it until late 2022, when she noticed difficulty catching her breath while out on her daily walks. (University of Iowa)

UI study finds brain waves may predict cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease

A few minutes of data recorded from a single electrode placed on top of the head may be sufficient to predict thinking problems, including dementia, in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The finding from a new University of Iowa study might help improve diagnosis of cognitive disability in Parkinson’s disease and develop new biomarkers and targeted therapies for cognitive symptoms of the disease. The brain recordings were made using a very old, widely available technology called electroencephalography, which measured low-frequency brain waves, known as delta and theta waves, in the frontal region of study participants’ brains. The UI team found that reduced strength of these specific brain waves when a patient is required to engage in thinking is strongly linked to cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. (University of Iowa)

National news

Examining the ‘exciting and complex’ financial strategy of an all-virtual care organization

As strategy shifts post-COVID-19, we are seeing the creation of more organizations that specialize in 100% virtual care. From a cost perspective, it can seem like a no-brainer. But the numerous downstream consequences for failing to financially plan are vast. Chris Murray, chief financial officer at Brightside Health — a completely virtual, mental health provider organization — says a solid telehealth understanding and financial strategy is the key to success. (Health Leaders)

Health care workers keep calling it quits

Health care saw a bump this spring in the number of resignations as a share of total employment as many other industries begin to see the quits rate abate. Four million Americans quit or voluntarily left their jobs in May, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is up by 250,000 from April, but lower than the 4.5 million recorded in November 2021, the highest level in governmental records dating back to 2000. The number of resignations as a share of total employment averaged 2.5% from March to May, which is slightly higher than the pre-pandemic level and down from 3% as recently as April 2022. Health care and social assistance saw 588,000 quits in May, up from the 519,000 recorded in April. The quits rate, or number of quits as a percent of employment, was 2.8% in May compared to 2.4% in April and 2.6% in May 2022. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

41.4 million affected by health care data breaches this year, nearing ’22 totals

The number of people caught up in health care data breaches this year is already approaching 2022 levels. Health care organizations have reported 330 breaches affecting 41.4 million individuals through July 10, compared to 52 million for all of last year, according to an analysis of HHS data. The top two breaches of 2023 alone affected nearly 16 million patients. The increase can be attributed to health care’s increasing data digitization and hackers’ realization of the value of stealing the information in ransomware attacks. But several health care organizations admitted to data breaches involving marketing tracking technologies after HHS advised in December that the use of the “pixel” and analytics tools could be a violation of HIPAA. (Politico)

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